We grow oats. Organic oats actually. We are not a large farm. Just big enough to make enough tonnage of our organic breakfast cereal to make it a regionally popular item. We sell the rest of what we grow to commercial buyers. When I first concocted the recipe to cook the oats into our unique cereal, we sold it in bags tied at the top with bread ties. We have since moved on to sealed inner bags that are packed in cartons using bag in box machines. We have one machine that bags up the cereal and another that puts them into boxes.

Our products are found mostly at local roadside produce stands that sell other things such as jams, jellies, fruit butters, raw local honey and our oat cereal mix. We even use honey from a local supplier as a sweetener along with organic molasses we purchase from far away. We had concentrated so much on the product and sourcing every ingredient organically that we never paid much attention to our packaging. Now we have printed boxes that look really cool.

The bag in box machines along with the bagger move very fast. We can get a week’s worth of product out in a single day now. We cannot even cook fast enough to outpace the packaging equipment. We were thinking of adding to how many acres of our organic oats we have allocated to our cereal venture next season to see if we can double sales. It would involve expanding our territory a bit, but the packaging equipment is more than capable enough to handle the expected increase in demand. The bag in box machines like this can handle 100 boxes per minute. That translates to 6,000 boxes per hour or 48,000 boxes per eight hour shift. Not bad for machines that take up a small footprint in our packing room.

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